Helping kids become wise electronic media consumers
The electronic media have become an integral part of our teens’ lives and has great influence on them. Parents cannot always control what their teens do while online.
Although, it is not possible to protect them from all the kind of information that are exposed to while online, you can:
- Teach them how to handle the electronic media which has become part of their lives.
- Assist them in analyzing and evaluating the messages they receive.
- Show them how to use mass media in positive ways.
Making decisions about the media and your teen
- The longer you are able to hold off not exposing your child to violent materials on the internet, the better.
- Pick and choose.
Evaluate each situation one after the other. For example, you may judge each movie on its advantages. Always remember that they are working on being independent, so allow them the freedom to choose whenever possible.
- Set limits.
Put some limits in place as regards media. Moderation is always a good policy. Tell your teen that they should not live by TV alone. They also have homework, hobbies, sports, friends, family to share some of their time with.
- Work with your teen to decide what appropriate choices are.
This is an effective strategy to avoid conflict with your teen. In conjunction with your teen, you may want to set some guidelines about what he watches, when and for how long.
- Participate with your child when possible.
Watch TV with him and listen to his music (especially if you think it may have some objectionable content), have him guide you through use of the internet, what sites he is visiting, and get to know who he is meeting online.
- Discuss what you are both experiencing in relation to the program content.
Take every opportunity possible to discuss what you see and hear with your child. Discuss violence, bad language, and the images you find inappropriate with your teen.
Carefully communicate your opinion so that your values are clear. Ask him what he thinks and allow him time to respond; listen non-judgmentally to his thoughts and perspectives.
- Rent video games and sit with him while he plays.
Check out magazines that review games and look at ratings on the package. Let him know which ones he can have and those he can’t have.
- Check movie reviews and ratings.
Give your teen some privacy.
Tell him you trust him to abide by the rules you have developed.